Hong Kong Strategic Route and Exit Number System

Hong Kong Strategic Route and Exit Number System

The Hong Kong Strategic Route and Exit Number System (Traditional Chinese: 香港主要幹線及出口編號系統) is a system adopted by the Transport Department of the Hong Kong Government to organise the major roads in the territory into Routes 1 to 10 for the convenience of drivers. When the system was first implemented in 2004, the government launched a large campaign to promote it to the public. One of the slogans goes: "Remember the Numbers Make Driving Easier" (認路記號碼,唔使路路查).

The strategic route system names nine major series of roads in Hong Kong as Route 1 to 5 and 7 to 10, which can be classified into three categories: the three north-south routes, the five east-west routes and the New Territories ring road. The route numbers are painted green, black or blue on yellow "road-shields" on overhead roadsigns.

Exits are numbered sequentially. The system names each exit of each route with a number, or a number with an alphabetic suffix, much like in the British junction numbering system. Exit numbers are indicated by white in black rectangular boxes on overhead and roadside roadsigns.

Route number system

The three north-south routes include Route 1, Route 2, and Route 3. They connect Hong Kong Island, metro Kowloon and the New Territories with a massive use of flyovers and tunnels. They pass through the three cross harbour tunnels, and their sequence of numbering follows the order of opening dates of the three tunnels:

*Route 1: Cross-Harbour Tunnel (opened 1972)
*Route 2: Eastern Harbour Tunnel (opened 1989; formerly Route 6)
*Route 3: Western Harbour Crossing (opened 1997)

The five east-west routes — Route 4, Route 5, Route 7, Route 8 and Route 10 — are numbered from south to north. The pattern indicates that Route 6 will most likely be built between Routes 5 and 7. Route 4 runs along the north shore of Hong Kong Island, connecting the eastern and western ends of the island, whereas Routes 5 and 7 link southern New Territories with different parts of Kowloon. Route 8 provides direct access to Chek Lap Kok Airport, and is currently being extended. Route 10 provides access to the border crossing at Shekou, Shenzhen.

*Route 4: formerly Routes 7 and 8 (opened 1990)
*Route 5: formerly Tsuen Wan - Ngau Tau Kok section of Route 2 (opened 1970-1980s)
*Route 7: formerly Route 4 (opened 1970s)
*Route 8: formerly Route 9 (Tsing Yi - Airport section opened 1997; Sha Tin - Cheung Sha Wan section under construction; Cheung Sha Wan - Sha Tin section opened 2008)
*Route 10 (opened 2007)

The circular route, Route 9, circumscribes the New Territories, with the exit at the Shing Mun Tunnels in Sha Tin as the starting point of exit-numbering. It links up the network of expressways and trunk roads in the New Territories into a big circle.

*Route 9: formerly Route 5 + Fo Tan - Lok Ma Chau section of Route 1 + Tsuen Wan - Lok Ma Chau section of Route 2(construction from 1985-2003)

Exit number system

In parallel with the naming of roads, the junctions between routes and exits from routes are also labelled with exit numbers. On every route, exits are numbered from one end to the other with ascending consecutive integers with a mixture of alphabet-suffixed labels (1, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 4... etc).

History

First generation

The first generation of the route number system in Hong Kong was envisaged in the 1968 "Hong Kong Long Term Road Study" by Freeman, Fox, Wilbur Smith & Associates, in which trunk routes were given single-digit numbers, and distributors with double-digit ones. Also included in the road study was an unnumbered Western Harbour Crossing (WHC), which in the plan involved a bridge crossing the Victoria Harbour between Cherry Street in Mong Kok and Kennedy Town, by way of Stonecutters Island and Green Island.cite web|url=http://hk-place.com/view.php?id=347|title=First generation route numbers|publisher=Hong Kong Place|accessdate=2008-06-22]

Numbered routes included in the study were: [cite book|title=Hong Kong Long Term Road Study|publisher=Freeman, Fox, Wilbur Smith & Associates|date=1968]
*1: Aberdeen to Fanling, via Aberdeen Tunnel, Cross Harbour Tunnel, Lion Rock Tunnel, Tai Po Road
**11: Ngau Tau Kok to Butterfly Valley Interchage, via Prince Edward Road East, Prince Edward Road West and Lai Chi Kok Road for westbound, Cheung Sha Wan Road and Boundary Street for eastbound
**12: Kowloon City to Mong Kok, via Argyle Street and Cherry Street, connecting to WHC
**14: connecting routes 1 and 4, via Choi Hung Road and Po Kong Village Road
*2: Junction between route 1 and Chatham Road to Sheung Shui, via Gascoigne Road, West Kowloon Corridor, Kwai Chung Road, Tsuen Wan Road, Tuen Mun Road, Castle Peak Road
**21: Chatham Road South
**22: Ferry Street and Canton Road
**23: Nathan Road and Tai Po Road until Tai Wo Ping Interchange
*3: Junction between route 1 and Chatham Road to Yau Tong via Kai Tak Tunnel (then Airport Tunnel) and Kwun Tong Road
**31: Ma Tau Wai Road and Ma Tau Chung Road
*4: Butterfly Valley Interchange to Kwun Tong, via Ching Cheung Road, Lung Cheung Road and a suggested flyover of what was to become Kwun Tong Bypass
**41: Kwun Tong to Tseung Kwan O (then Junk Bay)
**42: Choi Hung Interchange to Clear Water Bay
*5: Kwai Chung to Sha Tin, via what was to become Shing Mun Tunnels
*6: Castle Peak Road, Kwai Chung and Tsuen Wan sections
*7: Aberdeen to Causeway Bay, via suggested road between Aberdeen and Kennedy Town, Connaught Road, Harcourt Road and Gloucester Road
*71: Pok Fu Lam Road, Third Street and Water Street
*8: Causeway Bay to Chai Wan via suggested flyover above King's Road; predecessor to present-day Island Eastern Corridor
*81: Chai Wan to Wong Chuk Hang by way of Tai Tam and Repulse Bay; never built

econd generation

The second generation of route numbers came into use in 1974. All distributors lost their numbers, retaining only trunk routes in the system. It was replaced in 2004 by the present-day third generation. At the new system's conception, some numbers were reserved for future road plans at that time. There were 11 routes in the system, of which nine (routes 1 to 9) were used as of 2004. [cite web|url=http://hk-place.com/view.php?id=346|title=Second generation route numbers|publisher=Hong Kong Place|accessdate=2008-06-22]
*1: Aberdeen to Lok Ma Chau, 47.3km, previously route 1. Split into routes 1 and 9
*2: Ngau Tau Kok to San Tin, 54.4km, previously routes 2 and 3. Split into routes 5 and 9
*3: Sai Ying Pun to Au Tau, 27.7km. Still route 3 today
*4: Lai Chi Kok to Tseung Kwan O, via Kwun Tong Road, 17km. Today's route 7
*5: Tsuen Wan to Sha Tin Racecourse, 9.5km. Part of route 9 today
*6: Tai Koo Shing to Ma Liu Shui, via Kwun Tong Bypass and Tate's Cairn Tunnel, 19.5km. Today's route 2
*7: Causeway Bay to Aberdeen, 13.5km, previously also route 7. Merged with route 8 to form today's route 4
*8: Island Eastern Corridor, 9.6km, previously also route 8. Merged with route 7 to form today's route 4
*9: Chek Lap Kok to Tai Wai, 33.7km. Today's route 8
*10: Green Island to Shenzhen Bay, 29.5km. Still route 10 today
*11: West Kowloon to Tseung Kwan O, via Central Kowloon Route, 14km. Today's route 6, still under planning

Third generation

The third generation of route numbers came into use in 2004, and is the system used at present.

ee also

*Exit number
*Road number

References

* [http://www.td.gov.hk/transport_in_hong_kong/hk_strategic_route_and_exit_number_system/index.htm HK Strategic Route and Exit Number System on Transport Department]


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